Home Visitation Training

Nebraska Home Visiting Core Practices and Principles

In 2012, Nebraska released a Home Visiting Core Practices and Principles Online Training program, which provides information and resources that all home visitors can use.

The training is made up of seven core modules designed to provide home visitors with the foundation for working with parents in the home. The modules focus on topics such as effective communication, family systems, cultural competency, observation and documentation, and care of self. Activities are embedded in the training, many of which require the home visitor to work with their supervisor, creating an opportunity for reflective supervision.

The training is available at no cost to anyone who is interested, including parents. Users can obtain certificates for individual modules or for completing the full training program by passing quizzes that are built into the system. It is also possible to log in as a guest (for parents and other non-home visitors) to view the content but not be required to take the tests.

The online training program was developed over the course of about a year using Part C ARRA funds. Most of the curriculum and content for the modules was adapted from an existing 6-day face-to-face training already being offered in the state. The online format was pursued in response to hearing from home visitors that the in-person training was too difficult to attend because of the time commitment and fees required. A cross-agency stakeholder group, which also included private home visiting funders, led the work to develop and disseminate the self-paced training program.

Part C Early Intervention staff began piloting the training program in April 2012. Feedback so far is very positive. Part C home visitors are strongly encouraged to complete the full training program (with an 80% pass rate on all quizzes) within 3 months of being hired.

To learn more about the Nebraska Home Visiting Core Practices and Principles Online Training or to take the training yourself, visit 


Early Childhood Education Grant Program—Ages 3 to 5

The Early Childhood Education Grant Program is intended to support the development of children in the birth to kindergarten age range through the provision of comprehensive center- based programs. In most cases the projects expand and/or combine existing pre-kindergarten programs funded through district, federal, or parent fees, including Head Start. Each project receives funding for up to one-half of the total operating budget of the project per year on a continuing basis, subject to availability of the funds. A public school or an educational service unit is the fiscal agent.

Funded projects are required to operate in compliance with Rule 11 Regulations for Early Childhood Education Grant Program. Rule 11 reflects research-based elements of quality early childhood education programs intended to produce strong outcomes for children.

Such elements of quality include:

  • a strong family involvement/education component recognizing the central role of parents in their children’s development and learning;
  • well-trained staff and optimum staff and child ratios in programs providing direct services to children;
  • developmentally and linguistically appropriate and culturally sensitive curriculum, practices, and assessment;
  • sensitivity to the economic and logistical needs and circumstances of families in the provision of services;
  • integration of children of diverse social and economic characteristics;
  • inclusion of children with disabilities;
  • a sound evaluation component;
  • continuity with programs in kindergarten and elementary grades;
  • procedures to ensure participating children and families have access to comprehensive nutrition, (including at least one meal per day) and health and social services; and,
  • a parent/community advisory group which provides substantive ongoing direction to the program.

Evaluation Progress Reports

For further information, please contact Kristine Luebbe at kristine.luebbe@nebraska.gov or 402-471-1860.


Getting Down to Business Training

Getting Down to Business Training

Getting Down to Business training is a series of four interactive workshops designed for family child care providers on how to operate a family child care business. The workshop topics include:

Module I—The Business of Family Child Care
Module II—Child Development and Learning
Module III—Policies and Procedures
Module IV—Relationships in Family Child Care

The complete series of training will equal 20 in-service credit hours for Nebraska state licensed child care providers.

For the schedule and registration information visit the statewide Training Calendar http://ecrecords.education.ne.gov/Calendar.aspx.

For further information, please contact Dena Johnson at dena.johnson@nebraska.gov, 402-557-6886, or 1-800-89-CHILD.

First Connections with Families

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents –Emilie Buchwald

First Connections with Families is a statewide initiative developed by the Nebraska Department of Education, in cooperation with the Health & Human Services System, to meet the requirements of LB 326, the Nebraska Read, Education and Develop Youth Act. This booklet contains information about child development, reading to your child, and child health and safety.

First Connections with Families is distributed to families in Nebraska with newborn babies.

First Connections with Families Order Form
View booklet in English.
View booklet in Spanish.


First Connections

First Connections is a multifaceted, comprehensive online course offering education about infants and toddlers to teachers, caregivers, and parents across Nebraska and beyond.

The online training curriculum consists of six modules. Download the a complete First Connections syllabus.

  1. Introduction to Caring for Infants and Toddlers
  2. Part 1: Development of Infants and Toddlers
  3. Part 2: Development of Infants and Toddlers
  4. Program Quality and Evaluation
  5. Relationships with Families
  6. Keeping Infants and Toddlers Safe and Healthy

Requirements of the course include reading information, viewing video, completing assignments and taking short tests. All assignments and tests must be completed and graded prior to the end of the course.

A limited number of users can participate in the First Connections course at any one time.  Therefore, participants must first pre-register for the course. You can pre-register on this page.

Upon assurance that space is available, payment of a $25.00 fee is required.  Please do not send payment until you are requested to do so.  When the fee has been paid, participants will receive an email with the link to the course, a username and a password.  The course must be completed within 90 days.  By satisfactorily completing the online course, participants will receive 45 in-service clock hours.  Download the complete list of First Connections policies and procedures

For general information, contact:  Katie Miller, 402-557-6889, katie.miller@nebraska.gov

For specific questions about First Connections, contact one of the following
Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm central time, except for observed holidays.

Application process and login:  Tammi Hicken, 402-471-3184, tammi.hicken@nebraska.gov
First Connections content:  Jennifer Gerdes, jenniferkgerdes@gmail.com
Technical assistance with Moodle:  Drew Worster, 402-471-0533, drew.worster@nebraska.gov

Early Learning Guidelines: Nebraska’s Birth to Five Learning and Development Standards

The Early Learning Guidelines: Nebraska’s Birth to Five Learning and Development Standards (ELGs) document is an exciting resource to assist early childhood professionals and families with information about supporting the learning and development of young children. The ELGs are based on research and evidence about child development and practices that result in the best outcomes for young children. The document provides information related to seven domains or areas of learning and development:

  • Social & Emotional Development

  • Approaches to Learning

  • Health & Physical Development

  • Language & Literacy Development

  • Mathematics

  • Science

  • Creative Arts


Early Learning Guidelines training workshops have been created to assist early childhood caregivers/teachers and other adults with information about supporting the learning and development of children. Training is available based on the guidelines for each domain.

You can search the  Nebraska Early Childhood Training Calendar for information on upcoming workshops, and search the media center for resources to support the various training topics.

Copies & Publications

Copies of the Early Learning Guidelines: Nebraska’s Birth to Five Learning and Development Standards are available for download using the links below.

Early Learning Guidelines: Nebraska’s Birth to Five Learning and Development Standards, English (2018)
Early Learning Guidelines: Nebraska’s Birth to Five Learning and Development Standards, Spanish (2018)

Other publications available for download:

Kindergarten Early Learning Guidelines: Language and Literacy, English
Kindergarten Early Learning Guidelines: Mathematics, English
Foundations for Success: A Parent’s Companion Piece to the Early Learning Guidelines

Links to supplemental information:

Results Matter in Nebraska
Answers for Families

For further information about the Nebraska Early Learning Guidelines, please contact Katie Miller at katie.miller@nebraska.gov or 402-557-6889.


Early Learning Connection Partnerships

ELC logo

Early Learning Connection Partnerships

ELC map

Central Southeast Platte Valley North/North Central Southeast Panhandle Northern High Plains Central Southeast Platte Valley Omaha


Educational Service Unit #10
P.O. Box 850
Kearney, NE 68848
Phone: 308-237-5927, Ext. 286
Fax: 308-237-5920


Educational Service Unit #13
1114 Toledo Street
Sidney, NE 69162
Phone: 308-254-4677


Educational Service Unit #3
6949 South 110th Street
LaVista, NE 68128
Phone: 402-597-4991
Fax: 402-597-4811


Educational Service Unit #7
2657 44th Avenue
Columbus, NE 68601
Phone: 402-564-5753
Fax: 402-563-1121


Educational Service Unit #16
314 West 1st Street, Box 915
Ogallala, NE 69153
Phone:  308-284-8481 or
Fax: 308-284-8483



Educational Service Unit #6
210 5th Street
Milford, NE 68405
Phone: 402-761-3341


Educational Service Unit #1
211 Tenth Street
Wakefield, NE 68784
Phone: 402-287-2061
Fax: 402-287-2065

Early Childhood Policy Study

Nebraska Early Childhood Policy Study

At the request of the State Board of Education, the Nebraska Department of Education conducted an early childhood education policy study. The study is an outgrowth of the State Board’s early childhood recommendations in providing equitable opportunities for an essential education for all students.

Statement of Commitment
Nebraska Early Childhood Policy Study Report
Nebraska Early Childhood Policy Study Report Summary

Early Childhood Mental Health

Nebraska Early Childhood Pyramid Model for Supporting Social / Emotional Competence (EC-PBIS)

The NDE Offices of Early Childhood and Special Education are partnering with other agencies and organizations to bring the Pyramid Model to early childhood programs throughout the state. This program will enhance the social-emotional-behavioral health and well-being of all young children. It will assist them in reaching their full potential.

This is a long-term commitment involving early childhood leaders who are fully committed to program-wide adoption. Team Leaders will receive comprehensive professional development and ongoing coaching supports. Parents and families are engaged as valued partners who provide needed input.

Click here for a
short overview.

The Pyramid Model is an evidence-based model for supporting social competence and preventing challenging behavior in young children. The needs of all children are addressed with challenging behaviors handled in a comprehensive and systematic process.

What is the Pyramid Model?

The pyramid framework includes the following sections, beginning at the base:
Yellow Tier – an effective workforce that promotes positive relationships with children, parents, and all involved.
Blue Tier – an environment that is nurturing and supportive
Green Tier – targeted strategies that provide needed social and emotional support
Red Tier – individualized support for children whose needs are not met in prior levels.

What do the categories of the Pyramid Model mean?

YellowYellow Tier / Bottom Level: The Nebraska Core Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals allows staff and administrators an opportunity to assess and identify skill levels that are needed for working effectively with young children. The document is a tool that can be used in planning and tracking professional development. In addition, the Nebraska Early Learning Guidelines are available to describe what children need to learn and be able to do and how adults can support that learning. Staff not only attend training but need to be part of a system that ensures implementation of what they have learned. An effective worker collaborates with co-workers, parents, and others for the good of the child. There is shared decision making about practices, procedures, and individual child planning.

Blue TriangleBlue Tier / 2nd from the Bottom Level: At this level we find positive, nurturing, and responsive relationships and a supportive environment. These relationships are a central component in children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. With the advancement of brain research, research studies, and technology advancements we have learned that early experiences correlate to later successes and failures as adults. Providing positive emotional and social support to young children helps them learn the skills needed to function well with others. Early relationships as well as parenting and care giving behaviors impact peer relationships that children develop both in and out of educational settings. Positive early relationships also link to later social adjustments and social competence with peers.

The physical environment is another strategy to promote positive social and emotional development and competence. The classroom design promotes social interactions and participation in activities that provide developmental opportunities. Children are more comfortable when they have consistent, simple, positively stated rules to follow. These rules help them to demonstrate positive social and emotional behaviors and avoid using inappropriate behavior to meet their needs. These rules need to be taught and practiced as part of the daily routine

GreenGreen Tier / 3rd from the Bottom Level: targeted strategies that provide needed social and emotional support:

Specific strategies are identified to systematically support children in developing competence in emotional literacy, problem solving, impulse control, and building and maintaining friendships. These strategies (such as the use of various story books) are used intentionally to prevent problem behaviors and to modify or change them if they do occur.

RedRed Tier / Top Level: provides individualized support for children whose needs are not met in prior levels. All children exhibit challenging behavior at some time. Children with severe and persistent challenging behavior are a small percentage. These children benefit from an Intensive Individualized Intervention. Using a functional behavior assessment, a team writes a plan for a particular child, carries it out, and continually reviews and updates the plan.

When there is a repeated pattern of challenging behavior, there is the concern that it will interfere with a child’s optimal learning and ability to have positive interactions with others. The Center for the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning identifies the following as challenging behaviors when exhibited persistently:

  • Physical and verbal aggression
  • Noncompliance and defiance
  • Self-injury
  • Disruptive vocal and motor responses such as screaming
  • Destruction of property
  • Withdrawal

An infant may exhibit these behaviors:

  • Attachment difficulties
  • Sleeping and eating difficulties
  • Excessive crying
  • Difficulty in soothing

Serious behaviors do not resolve themselves without intentional, systematic intervention. Not addressing challenging behaviors in young children can increase the likelihood that their behavior will escalate as they grow older.

For more in-depth information, CSEFEL has provided an informative video:
Promoting Social and Emotional Competence

Why the Pyramid Model?

Children are growing and changing at a rapid pace. Using approaches that involve “best practices” teaches children how to get along and use skills to solve their own problems. The Pyramid Model uses three main stages to guide children. These are:

(1) Show & Tell (explain expectations to children)
(2) Practice makes Perfect (planned activities or teachable moments that implements the skill)
(3) You Got It! (children use the skill without prompting)

Along with the skills to implement these stages, various strategies and tools are also provided. To learn more in-depth procedures visit: Practical Strategies

For whom is the Pyramid Model intended?

The strategies of the Pyramid Model are for all early childhood care and education programs. The entire program does need to have a strong commitment to implementing the strategies program wide. They need to establish a team, create an implementation plan, schedule training, and develop strategies for including parents in the project.

Where do I find additional information?

The Center on Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) has developed a myriad of resources for implementing early childhood positive behavior support strategies within the framework to the Pyramid Model in early childhood settings. There are training modules to use with staff and parents, literacy extensions, briefs, additional resources and materials available for purchase. Visit the Center on Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning’s website for information.

In addition, the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children (TACSEI) website is rich with resources and additional information. TACSEI takes the research that shows which practices improve the social and emotional outcomes for young children and creates resources to help decision-makers, caregivers, and service providers apply these best practices in the work they do every day. Most of these resources are available on their website to view, download, and use. The TACSEI website uses the Pyramid Model to provide a framework for addressing challenging behavior and promoting positive social and emotional competence.

What Nebraska Training Fits with the Pyramid Model?

Many established trainings fit into the Pyramid Model. These are available through the professional development system in Nebraska. Current trainers are encouraged to add these four slides to their training sessions. Providing a short overview is like the freshly brewed aroma of coffee – just a tease can create the craving for more!

The Nebraska Department of Education is hosting an intensive Implementation Academy for district or program-level teams who are interested in implementing the Pyramid Model (EC-PBIS) in preschool programs. This model provides the conceptual framework of evidence-based practices for promoting young children’s social-emotional competence and preventing and addressing challenging behavior. The Academy is the kick-off event for district/agency teams beginning a 2-3 year process of training and coaching teachers, administrators and staff in their preschool programs. Program-wide implementation of the Pyramid Model requires an extensive commitment to a systems-change effort and strong leadership from locally-developed leadership teams. The Academy will provide training and materials needed to support program-wide implementation and sustainability over time.

For more information regarding the Pyramid Model contact:

The Early Childhood Training Center at 402-557-6880

Teresa Berube at teresa.berube@nebraska.gov or 402-471-4319

Linda Bray at linda.bray@nebraska.gov or 402-557-6892

Click HERE for a concise brochure overview.
Click HERE for a handout of this webpage.

Early Childhood Management Training Program

Early Care and Education Management Training Program

This 8-module series, totaling 45 clock hours, is designed for early childhood administrators. It fulfills the Nebraska Child Care Licensing requirement of Child Care Management Training.

The purpose of this training is to improve your business practices, policies and procedures and program operations in order to better support your staff and the children in your program.

Overview of Early Childhood Care and Education Program Management

The comprehensive training consists of eight separate modules taught in an interactive workshop format. Modules 1-7 are six hour workshops and module 8 is a three hour workshop. Material covered during this training series will include the implementation of the new DHHS licensing requirements such as written policies for illness exclusion, disaster preparedness plan, age-appropriate program description and diapering procedures. The eight modules are as follows:

  1. The Business of Child Care

  2. Child Development and Learning

  3. Policies and Procedures

  4. Supporting Children Center Wide

  5. Effective Workforce

  6. The Inside of the Building

  7. Relationships in Child Care

  8. Transitions

For the schedule and registration information visit the statewide Training Calendar http://ecrecords.education.ne.gov/Calendar.aspx.

For further information, please contact Dena Johnson at dena.johnson@nebraska.gov, 402-557-6886, or 1-800-89-CHILD.